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Public Health Infodemic

by Alisha Bhagat, Aug 17
1 minute read

An additional challenge of COVID-19 was an infodemic, too much information, including false or misleading information in digital and physical environments during the pandemic. Infodemics cause confusion and risk-taking behaviors that have negative health outcomes and undermine the public health response.

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So what?

With growing digitization and spread of social media and internet use as a means to obtain health information, false information can spread rapidly and harmful messages can become amplified. The WHO recommends infodemic management and during the pandemic employed techniques such as a repository of over 200 COVID-19 fact checking groups and an AI supported social listening tool to detect the spread of information.

As the world faces more disruptions and future pandemics, how might we build systems that effectively manage infodemics and ensure people receive needed health information?

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by Alisha Bhagat Spotted 14 signals

Alisha Bhagat is a futurist whose work focuses on the creative use of futures tools to impact long term positive change, particularly around social justice and equality. For the past seven years, she has worked at Forum for the Future, a non-profit that helps organizations think systemically and sustainably about the future. Alisha brings a broad toolkit to her work and designs games, creates immersive experiences, and brings the future to life. Prior to joining Forum, Alisha was a foreign policy consultant for the US government and a fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu. Alisha holds an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a BS in Anthropology and History from Carnegie Mellon University. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 2005. When not thinking about the future, Alisha is an avid gamer and science fiction enthusiast. She is also president of the board of BitchMedia, a feminist media organization.

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